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Riccardo Tisci's Out, Daniel Lee's in at Burberry

The designer musical chairs continue.
Riccardo Tisci at his final Burberry show

Riccardo Tisci at his final Burberry show

It wouldn't be fashion month without a headline-making shakeup at a major house. Coming in on day three of Paris Fashion Week is the news that Riccardo Tisci will step down from his role of chief creative officer at Burberry at the end of this month. His replacement has already been named: Daniel Lee, most recently of Bottega Veneta

The announcement, which Burberry made Wednesday morning, confirms rumors that have been swirling for the past month, but started rumbling back in the summer of 2020. 

After nearly five years with the British heritage label, Tisci showed what turned out to be his final collection in London on Monday, having postponed it in observance of the U.K.'s official mourning period following Queen Elizabeth II's death. Despite the rescheduling, the runway and audience were packed with stars like Naomi Campbell, Bella Hadid and Kanye West.

"Burberry is a very special place with a magical past and a very promising future. The chapter I was asked to write in its long story is one that I am incredibly proud of and one I have decided would culminate with my show on Monday," Tisci said in a statement. "I thrived to continue a legacy of innovation, and consistently championed for creativity and diversity, in order to always keep Burberry moving forward. I want to thank my teams, past and present, and the army of collaborators and friends who helped me write a chapter that I hope will stay in Burberry's future for years to come."

"Riccardo has played a pivotal role in repositioning Burberry," Jonathan Akeroyd, Burberry's CEO, said in a statement of his own. "He has enhanced our creative language, modernised and elevated our product offer and brought a new generation of luxury customers to our brand. On behalf of everyone at Burberry, I would like to thank him for his creative leadership and wish him the very best for the future."

Early on, Tisci's era at Burberry was marked by social media buzz, product drops and a new logo — plus, big expectations from executives to turn around the brand. The gig reunited him with Marco Gobbetti, who had been CEO of Givenchy from 2004 to 2008 and was named CEO of Burberry in 2017. However, as Business of Fashion noted back in 2020, COVID-19 had an impact on the aforementioned turnaround strategy. Gobbetti left the company in 2021; he was replaced Jonathan Akeroyd in early 2022.

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Though the company and its new chief executive have communicated satisfaction with Tisci in earnings calls and interviews this year, WWD reported in August that Burberry was in talks with Lee about the chief creative officer gig. 

Daniel Lee.

Daniel Lee.

Lee, who's British, starts his new job on Monday and will be based in London. His three-year stint at Bottega Veneta, which ended somewhat abruptly in the fall of 2021, was short but impactful, catapulting the brand (especially its leather goods) back into the zeitgeist. He remains one of fashion's buzziest designer names, and a major get for a company like Burberry, given his proven track record in generating commercially successful products. Prior to his Bottega Veneta tenure, he served as director of ready-to-wear design at Celine under Phoebe Philo. His first Burberry collection is set to debut at London Fashion Week next February.

"Daniel is an exceptional talent with a unique understanding of today's luxury consumer and a strong record of commercial success, and his appointment reinforces the ambitions we have for Burberry," stated Akeroyd. "I am excited about working closely with him and I am confident he will have the impact we are aiming for in this next phase, supported by our talented and experienced teams."

"Together with the team, we will write the exciting next chapter for this legendary British luxury brand, continuing its historic heritage and building on Riccardo's legacy," Lee added in a statement. "I am very excited to be returning to London, a city that champions pioneering creativity and that continues to inspire me."

Now, the question is: What will Tisci do next?

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